It just came to my attention that Steve Swallow’s birth date today follows my own by just one day—and a few years. The man who decades ago made an honest jazz instrument of the electric bass is now 77. In this video from a time when he and I were even younger, he plays his “Ladies in Mercedes” with harpist Emily Mitchell, tenor saxophonist Larry Schnyder, trumpeter Lew Soloff, and drummer Danny Gottlieb. Youtube renders anonymous the string players in the orchestra. I hope that Mr. Swallow had as good a time on his birthday today as he obviously did in this 1989 performance.
It’s late in the day out here in the west, but the wish for many happy returns is no less enthusiastic than it would have been at dawn.